At 5.30am today I checked Twitter. Nobody was being very coherent, but I remember one tweet: “When are they going to just declare it for him?” HIM? Oh no, this isn’t right. My half asleep state failed to navigate the facts at that time, and I convinced myself to get some more sleep. I slept, I dreamed bad dreams. When I woke up again I was confident I’d read news of Clinton’s victory.
When Britain had its general election last year, and the polls didn’t prepare us for the result, I was upset and angry for days. Same with Brexit. I don’t think I had it in me to get that angry a third time, and beyond wondering about one way trips Mars I’ve tried to put it to the back of my mind.
He scares me, he really does. For the racist, sexist behaviour that tells others they can get away with it, but mainly for his enthusiasm for nuclear weapons. His language and behaviour comes from a place of such deep-seated hate and disrespect, and it’s sickening to see this increasingly looking like a global trend, ready to be met with approval by the world’s right wing leaders at the drop of a hat.
But what can we do? After the Tories won in 2015, leftwing party membership soared and talks of unity amongst liberals circled Twitter. People really wanted to do something. People are still doing things, but there’s no denying it has calmed down massively and a large percentage of those distraught individuals found themselves getting on with their lives once the immediacy of the situation had died down.
Therefore I’m not going to recommend joining groups, political or not. I’m not going to recommend attending demos, making petitions or going all Oswald (obviously). Taking a political stance is great but it doesn’t leave people feeling good, not individually. The world is so full of hate right now, and the scales need tipping back. Focus on yourself in the coming days, weeks and months. Find what makes you happy and feel loved. Listen to beautiful music, stare at pieces of art, watch life-affirming tv. Read the Little Book of Hygge.
Politics will always be politics, and for the next four years it really could feel like the world is caving in. No amount of anger and frustration is going to help that. Eat nice food, drink hot drinks, and appreciate what you have*. The rest can wait, we don’t need to add to the hate today.
Love, freedom and equality. We’ll get there.
*Unless you’re a politician. Then work against everything that fucker stands for.